Project objective

The KISS ME (Knowledge & Innovation Strategies involving SME in the context of INTERREG) is an Interreg Europe project that seeks to strengthen the innovation capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by comparing the approaches of four different border regions and exchanging of tools to engage SMEs in cross-border cooperation and thereby improving the policy instruments aiming at fostering innovation in SMEs in each region.

In order to achieve this, the partnership seeks to compare the level of cross-border cooperation in the field of innovation and involving SME in the four different regions, to find out why the four regions use different approaches and tools to reach the same goals, to show best-practice approaches to interregional stakeholders and to try out the different tools in the other regions, to raise awareness of regional actors that cooperation across the border offers great innovation potential and to initiate a long-lasting and effective network of cooperation between actors across border through project improvements.

Project description

The KISS ME project intends to strengthen innovation capacities of small and medium-sized enterprises by comparing the approaches of four different border regions and by exchanging tools to improve policy instruments aimed at fostering innovation in SMEs in each region.

HAMAG-BICRO is a project partner in the KISS ME project within which it will play an active role in cooperation, learning about the process and gaining knowledge for the benefit of the agency and the partners involved. The aim is to find best practices for raising awareness among SMEs to engage in cross-border cooperation and to find appropriate tools for selecting project ideas among small and medium-sized enterprises. HAMAG-BICRO will coordinate regional cooperation in a group of cross-border stakeholders regarding the innovation potential of small and medium-sized enterprises in a cross-border context.

Regular meetings of regional stakeholders will be organized during the project to ensure that their knowledge and needs are taken into account when formulating an action plan. HAMAG-BICRO will ensure that stakeholders are regularly informed about the progress of the project and invite them to participate in interregional events organized by the partnership to contribute and meet stakeholders from other regions.

Project results will be the introduction of new innovation tools in each cross-border region, resulting in a number of SMEs profiting from best practice-instruments elaborated through the project. Strengthening the capacity of participating organisations as well as regional actors, small and medium-sized enterprises will be encouraged to join cross-border cooperation in the INTERREG context. The completion of the project will develop a sustainable network of cooperation between the participating regions to assist each other in implementing their strategies. Changing the strategic focus of the policy instruments involved will better integrate the possibilities for cross-border cooperation between SMEs in the future.

Project partners

1) Euregio RhineWaal (DE)
2) EGTC PyreneesMediterranean (FR)
3) Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments – HAMAG-BICRO (HR)
4) Hedmark County Council (NO)
5) Värmland County Administrative Board (SE)

Project duration: 54 months (01.01.2017 – 30.06.2021)

Project value: EUR 1,176,540.00, of which EUR 155,050.00 is available to HAMAG-BICRO